Signs of an Online Addiction Problem, Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Sometimes having an addiction doesn’t always seem apparent. However, addiction shows its head both mentally and physically if you know what to look for. There are warning signs to be on the lookout for, but it is important to note that not each sign will be present. Because everyone is different, some symptoms may be small, while others may show aggressively. The point is, no matter what signs can be seen, there is a help.

The Emotional Signs of Internet Addiction:

People are good at masking their emotions, and however, when it comes to internet addiction, those emotional triggers are what you need to pay attention to.


One of the most significant emotions a person goes through is guilt when it comes to internet addiction. Their feelings of missing out, or forgetting something important weighs heavily on them. Guilt can manifest in several ways from being overly sorry for a missed appointment to beating themselves up over small problems.


For some anxiety is triggered when they don’t check their email or messages. The feeling of anxiousness to get back online to see what is happening is a form of addiction. Anxiety can trigger other emotions like anger or even depression if the person is not ‘logged on’ to know what is happening on their social media sites. The overwhelming urge to check their smartphone every five minutes is one form of anxiety that should be noticed and taken as a sign of internet addiction.


Depression is more than just being lonely. It is a serious illness that needs to be dealt with head-on. Depression doesn’t just go away. So if you find that you or your loved one is not finding joy in their everyday life and only seems animated in front of a computer, they may be addicted to it.


If you or a loved one has become overly forgetful lately, it could be due to internet addiction. But it is more than just forgetting small things. When a person has an addiction to their computer or the internet deadlines for work are missed, they lose track of time and revert to dishonesty about where the time went.

Physical Signs of Internet Addiction

But emotions just show one part of an addition. Sure, maybe your friends or family member is just having a bad day. Anyone can have one of those, but when the days turn into weeks, the signs of addiction become more clear.

Body Aches

As with working in front of a computer all day, there are physical issues that arise. If a person you know suffers from headaches, backaches, or even carpal tunnel, these physical signs may point to an addiction to their computer. After all, one needs to get up and stretch or move around every hour to keep up their health. But if a person is addicted to their computer or the internet, they lose track of time and end up sitting the entire day.

Some people may even begin to show signs of weight gain from not exercising properly to weight loss due to forgetting to eat. Weight is a huge tell-tell sign that something is not right and that your friend or family member needs help.

Sleep Issues

When it comes to sleep, doctors recommend at least 6 to 8 hours of rest. If a person is addicted to their computer or the internet, sleep time shifts and a person becomes weary. The need to remain online constantly for updates, or even just simply losing track of time all messes with one’s sleeping schedule. So if you find you or a friend coming into work late, bags under their eyes, and body fatigue, these might be signs of an internet addiction that needs to be dealt with.

Vision Problems

The computer screen is made up of millions of pixels. And the screen can often be brighter due to the amount of light in the surrounding area. All these factors play a roll on eyesight. If you know someone with a computer addiction, you will begin to notice their eyesight changing.

Final Thoughts

Becoming addicted to anything has signs and symptoms that others can notice. Knowing what to look out for is the first step to helping those with an addiction. So don’t just look for emotion triggers, cross check with the physical symptoms as well and get help. Addictions can be broken if you know what to look for.